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Introducing: The BREAKTHRU Blog Series

Shining a Spotlight on the Stories of Women Leaders in Business & Sports

In the spirit of trying my best to maintain a sense of gratitude as we conclude a tough year, and as I strive to shine a light on others doing awesome things out in the world, I’m proud to introduce the #BREAKTHRU Blog Series: a content platform where I’ll host and share the stories of some of the remarkable women I have the great opportunity to call my colleagues, co-collaborators, and clients. 

So, let’s try this out…This month, I proudly bring you Grace Hulslander, Harvard Class of 2023 and our first, official BREAKTHRU BRANDS Class of 2020 Intern. 

Here’s a brief reflection piece that Grace put together as her internship came to a conclusion this past week. Enjoy and thank you again to Grace for all your hard work and contagious positivity (even via Zoom!) over these past few months!

Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining

Written by Grace Hulslander, Harvard Class of 2023 and BREAKTHRU BRANDS Intern 2020.


2020 has been a challenge. In August, I made the decision to put a halt to remote learning at college and take a gap year. Within a blink of an eye, my life changed, drastically. I was nervous and anxious and excited all at the same time. Covid be damned, but had I made the right decision? 

I needed a job and I needed it fast. I immediately started networking with Harvard Athletics Alumni and applied for internships through every source I could find all over the Northeast. I reached out to so many people not only to help me find an internship for the fall but also to learn as much as I could about career paths in marketing and finance. 

After interviewing with several prospective employers, I met Laura. It was clear from the beginning that the opportunity Laura offered was not only perfect for me and exactly what I was looking for, but it was just a priceless experience with one of the best branding experts in the country. BREAKTHRU BRANDS was the place for me. I said yes and haven’t looked back.

Laura is kind, energetic, and passionate about her job. We knew from the start that it was a perfect fit. Both of us were Harvard athletes; we had the same intense work ethic and we both want to win. 

I admire Laura for taking the risk and starting her own personal branding business after having three young daughters. She has been a great role model and an excellent mentor to me, personally and professionally. 

I can only hope to someday have the creative, innovative mind she does and communicate so effectively. She understands people and makes clients feel special. Her advice is always right on. Her vast experience in finance, consulting, and marketing has served her well and it’s been an absolute honor to work with her these past several weeks. 

From day one, Laura trusted me. I had direct contact with clients and became primarily responsible for numerous client projects. She listens to me and takes my ideas seriously. She treats me as a colleague and not an intern. Even though most of our interactions have been virtual due to Covid, I feel like we’ve bonded and become a team. I’ve learned so much about marketing, about branding, about business, and about people. It’s been such a great, worthwhile experience.

Through this internship, I have discovered I love to help others become successful. After working with various women in sports and in business, I have had the privilege to witness the BREAKTHRU BRANDS process help clients find their purpose and find their themes and their means to carry with them forward for a lifetime. 

Working with these incredible BREAKTHRU clients has reminded me how key it is to have a purpose or a goal not only in business but in life. These goals help to fuel our passion to succeed. Finding or choosing a purpose is not easy. One must carefully and deeply evaluate yourself and choose the best path for you. It takes time and careful consideration but it’s so very worth it in every way. 

I have loved listening to and watching clients undergo this process and grow, personally and professionally. Their growth inspires me to inspire others and I’ll take this process with me wherever I go in life.

“Finding or choosing a purpose is not easy. It takes time and careful consideration but it’s so very worth it in every way.”

Looking back now, there is no doubt–thanks to the support of my friends, family, and my experience working with BREAKTHRU BRANDS–that I made the right decision to take this gap year. I have found so many silver linings in the midst of this tough year. Through this experience, I’ve been inspired to set high goals and work hard to achieve them in every phase of my life, academically, athletically, and professionally. My first experience as a working woman has been nothing short of amazing. Now I’m ready to conquer the professional world… I think… but first I have more work to do and a couple years of college left. Maybe I’m not ready…but with Laura’s help I certainly should be by the time I graduate in 2023!

This spring, I will be doing a remote internship with Piper Sandler & Co. as an Investment Banking Analyst. This experience will definitely be different than working with Laura but I am ready for the challenge. After networking with Harvard Athletics Alumni once again, I will be exposed to more worthwhile professional experiences that will set me up for success. I can’t thank Scott Clark (Harvard ‘98) enough for putting in the time and effort to make this internship happen. I am very excited and ready to work hard! 

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